Moore's Lobby Podcast

Ep. 22 | Cruise’s Sr. VP of Engineering, Mo ElShenawy, on Developing Autonomous Vehicles

Episode #22 / 53:47 / April 15, 2021 by Dave Finch
Episode Sponsors: Orion FansNewarkCoilcraft

How do you solve the thousands of challenges standing in the way of autonomous vehicle deployment? Hear from the leader of a team of thousands of engineers doing "the best work of their lives" to safely deploy AVs.

To say that autonomous vehicles represent a huge number of engineering challenges is an understatement. To some engineers, they seem insurmountable. To others, like Mo ElShenawy, they're part of another day at the office.

This week, Dave speaks with Mo ElShenawy, Senior VP of Engineering for Cruise. Cruise began as a startup out of Y Combinator and rose to prominence as a powerhouse of machine vision and data processing for autonomous vehicle development. Acquired by GM in 2016, Cruise today works with companies like Honda and Microsoft to bring fully autonomous (and zero emissions) vehicles to scale. 

Cruise has focused on the challenges of real-world, scalable AV deployment, starting with San Francisco, which has proved to be a wealth of data on driver behaviors. Cruise also just announced their first international launch as the Roads and Transport Authority of Dubai selected them as their exclusive partner for self-driving technology moving forward. 

Mo runs Cruise's largest department, leading 1,000+ engineers in what is arguably one of the most significant engineering challenges of our generation. In this episode, you’ll hear Dave and Mo discuss the hardware and software challenges of designing AVs, why AVs should be safer than human drivers, and why Mo doesn’t believe in “tech for tech’s sake.” Learn about the promises, challenges, and realities his engineering team faces in this pivotal moment in transportation history as they grapple with safety, reliability, scalability—and parallel parking.


A Big Thank You to This Episode's Sponsors



Meet Mo ElShenawy

Mohamed “Mo” ElShenawy’s career has spanned several unique industries that share a unifying need for scalable automation technologies—as well as a need for talented engineers and strong leadership.

After graduating with top honors from Ain Shams University in Cairo in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Mo began his career in software development. He went on to later attain his MBA from Texas A&M and received formal training in machine learning and big data from UCSD.



Professionally, Mo has been the co-founder and CTO of three tech startups. He has worked in software development for process automation tools and IT solutions that served multiple Fortune 100 companies. He’s also brought his machine learning and automation skills to the finance industry with his most recent startup, FSDP LLC.

Then, for the next three years, Mo served as a Head of Global Technology at Amazon, where he was involved in using big data and software architectures to optimize warehouse operations and perform predictive analysis for supply chains (among other things).

He joined Cruise in 2018, where he now leads over 1,000 engineers as Senior Vice President of Engineering as the team tackles safe, scalable AV deployment, starting with San Francisco.